Germany: City Council Members Approving Wind Parks May Face Personal Liability For Damage To Health!

The legal winds are shifting! Many city councils and wind park planners are going to have to clean up their acts when pushing through their pet wind park projects.

Germany’s Fundamental Law specifically expresses that the State is obligated to protect the life and physical body of the individual, foremost from illegal attacks by others.

Consequently, according to German legal experts Prof. Michael Elicker and Andreas Langenbahn here, city councils approving the installation of wind parks may be held personally liable for damage to the health of persons who live close to them.

And when it comes to wind parks, even if only a certain part of the population are susceptible to the health hazards of infrasound (frequency below 20 Hz), it does not preclude the requirement being complied with. They write (my emphasis):

If the state (in this sense the term also includes the towns and communities) allows large wind parks to be constructed at a completely inadequate distance – at times only a few hundred meters – then it violates the state obligation to protect and may be held liable for the health consequences.

With this backdrop there are large risks also for communities and their participants if during the planning of so-called “wind-park priority areas” they willingly follow along with the ‘considerations of the contracted planning companies, of whom most of them belong to – and the term is indeed appropriate – the ecological-industrial complex.”

In Germany this puts city councils who onesidedly base their decisions to build wind parks on dubious planning/approval processes and feasibility studies squarely in the legal line of fire.

Too often windpark approvals are fraught with conflicts of interest and crony deals. Finally in Germany the spotlight is getting aimed at the dark underside of the renewable energy industry and their tactics used in ramming projects through against the will of the people.

Also city councils and wind park planers are finding it increasingly difficult to dismiss infrasound produced by wind turbines by claiming that “it cannot be proven scientifically”.

Experts Elicker and Langenbahn calls claims there is no scientific evidence supporting the health hazards of infrasound “false” and that the State is in any case obligated to protect life and body of persons not only after a hazard is conclusively proven.

The authors of the report write that it is extremely difficult to dampen the very low frequency infrasound and that it can travel for kilometers, noting that contrary to wide-spread belief, the frequency is audible, and that it is perceived as pulsations and vibrations.

Even Germany’s Ministry of Environment writes, summing the results of investigations and contradicting earlier claims, that starting at a certain acoustic level, infrasound can have a variety of negative effects on the human body and can interfere with the cardio-vascular system, adversely effect concentration, reaction time, balance and the nervous system. Victims often complain of dizziness.

Elicker and Langenbahn believe that many councilmen and planners have been too careless in their dismissal of infrasound when planning their wind parks. They write that this could all lead to a “rude awakening” for those involved in the slipshod approval of wind parks, and warn they may even be personally liable with their own private assets.

High time.

Also see: www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCJh03-BpG4

60 responses to “Germany: City Council Members Approving Wind Parks May Face Personal Liability For Damage To Health!”

  1. Boyfromtottenham

    Hi from Oz. Great news, but why has it taken so long to surface? By the way, a simple Google search will show that infrasound was researched for decades by the US and other militarise as a non-lethal weapon, so showing it to be a health hazard shouldn’t be too difficult. And I find it very interesting that most if not all national environment protection agencies require the use of a ‘sound level meter’, that specifically cannot measure below about 20 Hz, to measure wind turbine noise! You couldn’t make this up!

  2. sod

    Wow. What will such legal consequences mean for coal and/or nuclear power?

    This should kill the fossil industry at once!

    1. Analitik

      Where are they allowed to build coal and nuclear plants within a few hundred meters of existing residences?

      And in the case of nuclear power plants, where is the proof of harm from normal operation?

      1. sod

        “Where are they allowed to build coal and nuclear plants within a few hundred meters of existing residences? ”

        coal is hurting people much further away.

        “And in the case of nuclear power plants, where is the proof of harm from normal operation?”

        There is no similar proof of infrasound damage either.

        Again, this approach is a losing battle for coal and nuclear. If both those technologies have to pay for the risks and damages they pose (and this would be the effect of council members taking responsibility for coal and nuclear for the first time), they will suffer badly.
        Basically it would be the immediate end of two dying industries.

        1. Analitik

          sod says “There is no similar proof of infrasound damage either”

          Read the statements from Mr Gare in this South Australian government hearing
          http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;db=COMMITTEES;id=committees%2Fcommsen%2F34382052-8907-4b85-a0af-1a3fb4be884c%2F0008;query=Id%3A%22committees%2Fcommsen%2F34382052-8907-4b85-a0af-1a3fb4be884c%2F0000%22

          The man receives A$200,000 each year for the 19 turbines on his farm but wishes he never had them installed and would gladly forgo to income due to the infrasound.

          The closest turbine to his house is “800 metres away with three towers within approximately one to 1.5 kilometres away”

          1. David Appell

            Sounds like he should have done better research before signing a contract, and insisting on better testing and better terms.

          2. Analitik

            Read the transcript before you make a comment like that. They took them out under a windmill to “demonstrate” how unobtrusive they were which is just plain deception.

        2. yonason

          “There is no similar proof of infrasound damage either.” – sod

          when animals get sick, it’s not their imaginations that cause it. It’s real.
          http://theecoreport.com/wind-turbines-may-harm-livestock-and-wildlife-study-finds/
          http://www.windturbinesyndrome.com/2011/animals-too-suffer-from-wind-turbine-syndrome/
          http://betterplan.squarespace.com/todays-special/tag/wind-farm-livestock
          http://www.windturbinewildlifehell.org/site/category/noise/

          Animals can’t suffer imaginary symptoms, so if they are suffering it is real. And if it’s real for them, it’s real for people, too.
          http://lakeontarioturbines.com/PDF/Wind-Turbines-Risk-of-Harm.pdf

    2. yonason

      When’s the last time pieces of an exploding nuclear or coal power station ended up in nearby private dwellings?
      “In Germany, blade pieces have gone through the roofs and walls of nearby buildings.”
      Wind is safe?? Doesn’t look like it.

    3. handjive

      Says Sod, enjoying the warmth & quality of life from fossil fuels, from his fossil fuelled & built laptop.
      Just stop using the energy then, and stop telling others they can’t.

    4. DirkH

      What’s the fossil industry? Do they make fake dinosaur bones? I thought they were real?

      1. yonason

        Fake happens🙂

        It’s kind of like selling someone “renewable” energy that really isn’t.

        Germany is putting up wind and solar fossils-to-be at an astounding rate, and, talk it up as best they can, there’s little to show for the effort.
        http://www.thingsworsethannuclearpower.com/2014/09/renewable-power-intermittency.html

        Dinosaurs lasted a lot longer than the greenie nightmare will, because as living things, they were in fact “renewable.” But, as with dinosaurs, so with faux “renewables,” because…
        Fossilization happens.

        1. David Appell

          Fossil fuels take millions of years to be created.

          Yet we will use them all up in ~200-300 years.

          So, no, they aren’t, in fact, sustainable or renewable.

          1. AndyG55

            “So, no, they aren’t, in fact, sustainable or renewable.”

            And how the **** do you think we are going to keep replacing USELESS wind turbines and solar, then ?

            One thing with wind and solar.. they both need renewing .. REGULARLY.

            And the next round WON’T get the massive subsidies… end of game.!!

          2. yonason

            Totally missed my point, again.

    5. DirkH

      Sod, I have a great idea for you and your ilk.
      Look at how successful the Vegans became in promoting their self-destroying habit – simply by leading by example.

      So – found a movement, say, Gaianism; where a Gaian refuses to use any product using fossil fuels or made under usage of such. Like, no more trains for Gaianists. Because the tracks are made of steel produced with fossil fuel. No more wind turbines – because, the same. And so on.

      And start woshipping only purely Gaianist celebrities instead of jet setters like Di Caprio. Imagine, all your favorite actors would travel by wooden sailboat to remote filming locations. And, they wouldn’t actually be filmed, but sketched by artists using paper and pencil.

      Also, no more bicycles. Because, steel in the cogwheels.
      I’ll work out the details for you in the coming months. It will be the most ethical lifestyle ever imagined.

    6. yonason

      Coal plants aren’t generally situated in populated areas, so any effects are indirect (most likely vastly over-estimated), and far less serious than what would occur in their absence. Nuke plants are phenomenally safe, compared with all other forms of energy production.

      Hysterical “greenie” screams “OMG! Some radiation leaked from a Nuke Reactor. We’ll all end up like Hiroshima!”

      Yeah, we should be so fortunate.

    7. yonason

      And don’t let your kids play in the dirt.
      https://www.odh.ohio.gov/~/media/ODH/ASSETS/Files/eh/HAS/ArsenicinGardening.ashx

      Talk about a nanny state!

      Normal people are exposed to far higher toxins and radiation in everyday life apart from the small, yes RELATIVELY small, emissions from power stations. So, while you’re banning power stations, don’t forget airplanes (much more radiation exposure), camping, spelunking, eating vegetables, etc., etc., and don’t let the kids even THINK about going outside.

    8. lemiere jacques

      i rarely agree with you, but i do there.

  3. Mindert Eiting

    With respect to infra sound I don’t think that the sound wave only consists of the first harmonic. May have the greatest amplitude but with 10 Hz, you will also get 20, 30, 40, 50, … In this sense infra sound must be audible, perhaps as much as produced by the lowest bass string in a piano (27 Hz), of which you hear mainly the higher harmonics. Strike the key with force and try to imagine you would hear this the whole day. Compare this with the disputable effect of high voltage cables. Here the frequencies of the electro-magnetic waves are far below infra-red. I doubt whether it causes direct physical damage but the effect may be neurological. If you are exposed the whole day to a violent but indefinite sound, the effect may be comparable with living in a sick building spreading an indefinite dirty smell. Research will be difficult because comparing people living near to wind parks with those who do not, is a weak procedure and not many people would volunteer in an experiment. A Judge may require evidence beyond reasonable doubt, which may be difficult to offer in this case. Anyhow, neurologists should be involved.

  4. Those approving wind lunacy to face personal liability | Scottish Sceptic

    […] Germany: City Council Members Approving Wind Parks May Face Personal Liability For Damage To Health! […]

  5. RoyFOMR

    It’s a first for me, but I have to agree with sod. What’s sauce for the goose is, indeed, sauce for the gander:(

    1. sod

      Thanks for the support. I am totally convinced that this approach (liability of city councils for energy technologies) would extremely favour wind and solar and would kill nuclear and seriously harm coal.

      1. Moose

        And bring us all back to the dark middle ages. No thank you very much!

      2. yonason

        I’ve posted above about how wind is harmful to animal and humans, now here’s a report on the “danger” of coal
        http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/FoS_BurningQuestions_Health_Coal_Wildfires_Jan2015.pdf
        Modern coal power does not appear to be a significant health problem.

      3. DirkH

        sod, we totally agree. Ban rooftop solar. Thousands of unnecessary deaths have destroyed families and brought totally unnecessary suffering on whole nations.

        1. David Appell

          Why outlaw rooftop solar?

          Or do you need your nanny state to provide all the energy you could ever want?

          1. AndyG55

            Or do you rely on the nanny state to subsidies your roof-top solar for you.?

  6. yonason

    nuclear is safer and cleaner than wind and solar.
    http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/lachlan-markay/2011/03/17/inconvenient-truth-wind-energy-has-killed-more-americans-nuclear

    http://www.thingsworsethannuclearpower.com/p/10-nuclear-faqs_7.html

    As to coal, as you know the enviro-whackos have been screaming about it for decades. In the civilized world, the one in which greenies occupy physically but not mentally, great progress has been made to make coal power a lot cleaner. But some dangerous substances are emitted. However, the world wouldn’t be rendered safer by removing them. Without reliable power, there would be far more misery, and a lot more people would die. And the dirt under our feet is chock full (compared to emissions) of hazardous substances, like Arsenic. If you eat salads, fruits and veggies, you ingest plenty of Arsenic and other toxic heavy metals.
    http://www.nature.com/article-assets/npg/srep/2016/160202/srep20317/images_hires/m685/srep20317-f1.jpg
    Eat hardy, Vegans. It’s much safer than jumping off a cliff.

    As far as fatalities associated with coal, the numbers one gets probably fall mostly into these two categories:
    1-coal worker deaths and injuries, and
    2-estimates of the number of people harmed by emissions.
    The former is a dangerous profession which isn’t forced on those employed in it. They opt for it knowing the risk involved. The latter is most likely EPA fantasy, as in estimates made by zealots. I can hear them now…

    “This one was hit by a truck. We’ll assign his death to ‘fossil fuel related’.”

    Keep those two sources from padding the statistics, and the numbers are probably pretty low.

    In any case, we know we can’t do without nuke and/or fossil backup for “renewables,” so all this fuss is for naught, anyway.

    1. DirkH

      “As far as fatalities associated with coal, the numbers one gets probably fall mostly into these two categories:
      1-coal worker deaths and injuries, and
      2-estimates of the number of people harmed by emissions.
      The former is a dangerous profession which isn’t forced on those employed in it.”

      It is WAY safer than LOGGING! Yes, good old renewable energy source wood is killer number 1 in terms of deaths / TWh – by orders of magnitude! Outlaw logging now! It’s a continuous genocide by comparison! Even MORE dangerous than wind and solar! (which are more dangerous than coal, through accidents. sod never mentions this. He wants us all to die from falls.)

      1. David Appell

        Well, if you’re afraid to cut your own wood…. then go ahead and outlaw yourself.

        1. yonason

          “By many measures, logging is the most dangerous occupation in the United States.”
          https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/logging/

          Your comments are always some combination of: nasty, and/or misleading, outright false, . . .

          . . . and childish.
          “Well, if you’re afraid to cut your own wood…. then go ahead and outlaw yourself.” – David Appell

  7. John F. Hultquist

    Likely this idea is going nowhere.
    Public buildings have stairs, or most do.
    People fall and die or get injured.
    Who does what next gets complicated but I’ll guess the mayor doesn’t pay.

    1. sod

      “Public buildings have stairs, or most do.
      People fall and die or get injured.”

      You are making an important point there. The difference is necessity. In the past, coal was allowed to have absurd effects (people killed in the mines, simply deadly smoke, coal ash collapses burying villages and people driven from their homes for brown coal mining).

      There simply was no option to coal, as their is no option to having a stair (and the occasional stair accident).

      This situation has changed dramatically and i expect judges to slowly (most of them are extremely conservative) to follow the facts. It will be difficult, possibly impossible, to drive a village from a coal field in the near future.

      1. Moose

        “There simply was no option to coal,”
        Huh?
        Gas? nuclear? Hydro?

      2. DirkH

        sod 9. February 2016 at 9:17 AM | Permalink | Reply
        “This situation has changed dramatically and i expect judges to slowly (most of them are extremely conservative) to follow the facts.”

        Somebody who calls the typical left-green German judge “extremely conservative” is obviously way out there…

    2. yonason

      “Public buildings have stairs, or most do.
      People fall and die or get injured.” – John F. Hultquist

      Hi, John. If that happens in a public building, and it’s due to negligence, the city will pay. If the mayor gave the order not to keep up repairs, he would be to blame.

      There’s sufficient info on the hazards of wind turbines now, that allowing them to be built where they can cause harm is inexcusable.

      I would say allowing them to be built at all is, but for now think that minimizing their damage is a good first president to set.

      1. yonason

        “precedent” not “president” (I let the computer correct my spelling, and it, being smarter than I, outsmarted me.)

      2. David Appell

        Some people who use stairs are going to fall no matter what.

        Europeans living in nanny states might want to blame the government for all their missteps, but sometimes you just have to take it like a man.

        1. yonason

          @ David Appell

          Nothing says “take it like a man” like saying “yes master” to the nanny state.

          You really are oblivious to reality, aren’t you.

  8. StewGreen

    TIP : Light Bulb manufactures have being playing same tricks as VW
    – Piers What do you make of this Süddeutsche Zeitung report from Dec 16 ?
    • Many bulbs consume more power and provide less light than on the package.
    • Manufacturers have probably exploited for years EU rules and pitched high tolerances in the consumption data on the actual performance.
    • The EU Commission has been known for four years, about this legal cheating by the manufacturers, but it still tolerates the tricks.

  9. StewGreen

    That light bulb cheating regulations story was also in Guardian 17 December 2015

    1. yonason

      Incandescent, not fluorescent, appear to be the most efficient light bulbs.
      http://motls.blogspot.com/2016/01/an-incandescent-light-bulb-most.html

  10. David Appell

    How do these risks compare to living near a coal-fired power plant, and breathing in particulate matter, drinking water contaminated with mercury, and soul-killing views?

    1. StewGreen

      #1 Europe plants use filters much better that you wood stove
      (don’t know about industrial biomass yet)

      #2 Yep there is mercury in the environment. The safe limit is NOT zero, so your body can normally process it thru. Its only when large quantities build up say hatting industry that people go mad.

      Natural forest fires dont have filters and do release mercury and radioactivity..
      Biggest lifedays loss problem is cooking on indoor wood stoves. Hots women quite young.

      1. David Appell

        1) I don’t use a wood stove.

        2) You didn’t answer, or even address, the question.

        Wanna try again?

        1. David Johnson

          How do these risks compare to living near a coal-fired power plant, and breathing in particulate matter, drinking water contaminated with mercury, and soul-killing views?

          Suppose you tell us,oh Great One?

        2. yonason

          @ David Appell

          Why don’t you provide some data, you know, a baseline from which to construct a narrative, instead of making sweeping generalizations. Give us some numbers, and references (legitimate ones we can both accept) to support your allegations. Write like the scholar you pretend to be, and not like some raving lunatic. That is, if you can.

          1. yonason

            actually, replace “narrative” with “dialogue” for it to read more like what I meant.

        3. AndyG55

          “1) I don’t use a wood stove.”

          Ahhhh… so you rely on COAL/OIL/GAS for heating, and to power your computer.. which is derived from oil and mining materials.

          Good child.

      2. yonason

        “How do these risks [adverse health effects of wind turbines] compare to living near a coal-fired power plant” – David Appell

        You get more harm for less benefit pretty much sums it up.

    2. slk

      I live within ten miles of both wind turbines and a coal plant. Talk about “soul-killing views”—those wind turbines are the WORST. What was beautiful, open prairie is now an industrial power plant that goes on for miles. It’s sickening to watch the destruction, the raptors killed and all for a company to make a bunch of money off of subsidies and taxes without producing useful energy (I can see if they are turning or not—and they are not much of the time). Then there’s the radiation involved in refining rare earth metals (done in China—who cares if they poison the planet and themselves, right?), the mining for the metals to build the turbines, the chemicals used to make the blades, the huge amount of diesel used to move in the turbines and then to maintain them, etc. Yeah, it’s like heaven on earth. Meanwhile, the power plant has coal trains coming in and that’s about it. It takes less area than a dozen wind turbines do and produces many times the electricity as the turbines and produces it 24/7. So, the answer is I would rather live near the coal plant—and I live near both turbines and a coal plant, so I know of which I write. This is a person who has experience and is answering your question. I also have first hand knowledge with coal mining, uranium mining, and oil field. I have watched wind turbines installed and had my road torn up by the process (luckily the county had it in writing that the installers had to repair the road). I look at the gate that goes to the wind farm, powered off the COAL PLANT power line, not the turbines and know why they can’t use the turbines if they want to open the gate on their schedule. So, there is your answer—coal plant any day of the week.

      1. yonason

        Didn’t see your post before I made mine. Sorry. But at least we were thinking on the same line.

        Fortunately for me, I don’t (yet) live near that awful stuff. My sympathies, and hopes for you to get away from them at some point. Maybe we can get them all shut down soon, and move on to something more sane. And maybe we can round up the sods and david appells of the world, and have them clean up that mess they were so happy to see the world cluttered with.

        ” It takes less area than a dozen wind turbines do and produces many times the electricity” – slk

        This article address that point very well.
        http://www.scientific-alliance.org/node/979

    3. yonason

      Ah, yes, SOUL KILLING VIEWS You’re right, they really are ugly, aren’t they!

  11. Germany: City Council Members Approving Wind Parks May Face Personal Liability For Damage To Health! – sentinelblog

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